Managing Director - McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton, NJ

Mierka Girten, Michael Shannon, and John Judd in SIMPATICO by Sam Shepard Mierka Girten, Michael Shannon, and John Judd in SIMPATICO by Sam Shepard Photo by Richard Termine

McCarter Theatre Center (MTC, McCarter), located in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey, holds a unique place in the performing arts world as both a major producing entity and an equally important presenting organization.  With annual attendance in excess of 200,000, MTC draws from a wide geographic swath including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.  Patrons enjoy more than 200 performances each year including theater, dance, music, film, and other special events.  With this singular identity comes a unique commitment to creating, developing, and producing new work for the stage, reinvestigating classical theatrical repertoire, and bringing the best of the world’s performing artists to Central New Jersey.

McCarter was created in 1930 as Princeton University’s home for the student drama program, the Triangle Club.  This close relationship continues today as the University owns the building and land and provides maintenance, cleaning, and oversight of the facility as well as annual financial support to MTC.  The MTC facility is expansive, with two performing spaces: the Matthews – a 1072-seat proscenium – and the 360-seat Berlind.  Costume, prop, and scene shops are in a large off-site building only a few minutes’ drive from the theater, artistic and administrative offices.  There are spacious rehearsal rooms, one of which is sometimes used as a black box performance space.

McCarter is fiscally sound. It operates on an annual budget of approximately $13 million with a 62/38 earned/contributed ratio.  The endowment currently stands at $20 million; $10 million of this amount was raised in the current capital campaign.  There are 80 fulltime staff members. McCarter is a LORT B member.

In addition to its robust producing and presenting programs, MTC hosts a nationally-recognized education program, including after-school classes (PK-12th grade), summer camps, in-school partnerships/residencies, Onstage Seniors, student matinees, and annual Sallie B Goodman artists retreat for theatre artists.  A host of community volunteers support front-of-house activities during the annual Christmas Carol production.  Additionally, the McCarter Theatre Internship Program provides season-long training opportunities for 14 post-graduates in artistic, production, and administrative areas.

Information can be accessed on MTC’s website:


Emily Mann, Artistic Director/Resident Playwright

For the past 28 years, Emily Mann has held the post of Artistic Director/Resident Playwright at MTC. She has over 50 directing credits at McCarter and is a multi-Tony Award nominee. Under her leadership McCarter has received two Tony Awards: the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (1994) and Best Play Tony Award win for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, by Christopher Durang, a play commissioned, developed, and premiered at McCarter (2013). Her warmth and gentle temperament bely an underlying grit and dedication to mission; American Theatre Magazine calls her “the quiet radical” Her work and indeed her life has been fiercely devoted to social justice and inclusion.

William Lockwood, Special Programming Director

Bill Lockwood has long been at the center of the presenting world and has led McCarter’s presentation series for five decades. ,He is responsible for all non-theater performances seen at MTC, including dance, music (of nearly every genre), spoken word, and family events. 

Board of Trustees

There are 44 community, academic, and business leaders serving on the MTC Board of Trustees. The Princeton University President can appoint up to eight positions. Leslie Kuenne is Board President; her term extends until June 2018 (but can be extended to up to four more years).   Chad Klaus, Vice President, is serving as the Chair of the Search Committee for the Managing Director search. 


As one of the country’s premiere regional theaters, McCarter is able to build on a remarkable foundation. Its future will most certainly include the following:

• Evolving MTC into a primary destination for the community, moving from “come for a performance” to “come and stay,” while building innovation and best practices into the patron experience.>

• Reaching an ever-growing population in the Central New Jersey region.

• Supporting, producing, and commissioning new work from the finest contemporary playwrights, including MTC’s own Resident Playwright, Emily Mann.

• Expanding and deepening its engagement activities with the communities it serves.

• Nurturing its deep relationship with Princeton University in even more meaningful ways including helping to build McCarter’s presence and significance adjacent to the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.   

With these significant opportunities, there are also challenges to address:

• Maintaining a leadership role in an increasingly complex arts environment.

• Addressing the income / expense ratio of its presentation arm.

• Balancing human capital with the production and presentation load MTC offers.

• Determining best strategies for growth in contributed revenue.

• Addressing the constantly changing reality of audience buying patterns, determining strategies to engage new audiences, and effectively communicate the McCarter brand and experience.


The next Managing Director will follow Tim Shields, who has held the post for nine seasons and will conclude his tenure with MTC in October 2017.  The Managing Director will serve in a co-leadership structure with Emily Mann, reporting to the Board of Trustees through the Chair.  As envisioned by the Search Committee, the role is highly external, managing relationships that are key to McCarter’s health, while guiding the strategic planning and execution of those plans in support of the Theatre’s artistic vision.  The central roles and responsibilities of the Managing Director are these:

• Forge a productive working relationship with the Artistic Director and the Board of Trustees.

• Maintain and create new external relationships in support of MTC, including Princeton University, individual and institutional donors, local/regional/state governmental and arts agencies, et al. 

• Oversee the effective execution of earned and contributed revenue streams in concert with the professional and lay leadership of MTC.

• Work closely with the Special Programming Director to affect the greatest impact of those presentations.

• Oversee other administrative and operational functions of MTC, creating a culture of productivity, inclusivity, creativity, and innovation.  


Ideally, the successful candidate for this role will possess these skills and experience:

• A deep commitment to the performing arts, evidenced by prior roles in organizations of significant (if not comparable) size and/or scope.  Although someone with a theater background is preferred, the search committee has indicated an openness to reviewing credentials of professionals from other disciplines.

• Top organizational leadership experience of at least three to five years, with demonstrable experience and a clear understanding of a collaborative working relationship with an artistic leader.

• Significant experience all aspects of nonprofit management, including a proven track-record of effectively working with a board of trustees.

• Exceptional communication skills – both speaking and writing – taking satisfaction in serving as an ambassador in a host of business and social settings.

• Background in fund-raising and demonstrated ability to serve as key member of contributed revenue efforts. 

• At minimum, a bachelor’s degree; graduate degree preferred. 

The following personal attributes will also be considered important to the Committee:

• A leadership style with a collaborative spirit.

• Deeply mission driven and aligned with the values espoused at McCarter.

• A commitment, evidenced by previous work, to equity, diversity, and inclusion.


The salary will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size.  Benefits will include the following: 

• Medical/dental/life/disability/vision insurance plans (these are largely employer funded);

• Health reimbursement account;

• Retirement plan with employer contribution and match; 

• Flex Spending Plan;

• Paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, and personal days;

• Travel budget for conferences (TCG, LORT, etc.);

• Reserved parking. 

The Search Committee, consisting of eight trustees, will facilitate the recommendation of the successful candidate to the Board of Trustees.  The Committee hopes to make its decision by the end of 2017, with the finalist onsite within the first quarter of 2018.  Interested and qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible for full consideration to the consulting firm retained for the search and listed below.  Recommendations of potential candidates are also welcome.

Complete credentials should be submitted electronically and should include cover letter; résumé or CV; a minimum of three professional references, including name, email, phone, and relationship.  Application materials should be sent electronically – Word or PDF only, please – with the applicant’s name included as part of each file name.

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: David Mallette

By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject Line: McCarter MD Search

The McCarter Search Committee is committed to reviewing a deep and diverse slate of candidates; females and candidates of color are encouraged to apply. MTC’s EDI statement is as follows:

McCarter is a nationally renowned regional performing arts center dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, innovation, and community in all that we do.  As such, we have a responsibility to invite the diverse communities we serve to participate in the creation, support, and enjoyment of the arts.  We believe there is inherent value in audience members engaging with performances that reflect their own cultural experiences, as well as performances that ask them to empathize and connect with experiences that are different from their own.

To encourage that participation, it is essential that we create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace environment where employees and artists alike feel welcome and respected, and actively participate in welcoming and respecting those around them.  An inclusive workplace promotes new perspectives and pushes us to become an even more creative, innovative, and engaged organization.  We must seek out, welcome, educate, and learn from an increasingly diverse group of theater practitioners and enthusiasts which are reflective of the shifting demographics of our country.

We commit to questioning our assumptions; developing our knowledge; creating realistic goals; evaluating our progress; and implementing concrete policies to foster a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive McCarter.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:06